I had lost my joy. When I checked in, I found that I was surrounded by false boundaries. Over time these boundaries were formed by fear, judgment, hate, and ego. I would read and listen only to prove myself right and reinforce my judgments, fears, and hate. That is the harsh reality of it. The boundaries were sturdy and well-entrenched. Several events in my life started attacking these boundaries, but I held out for a long time. Eventually, with some help, I saw a glimmer of joy outside these walls. Being curious I started to search for the source of that joy. For me the beginning of my journey was an idea that if I could read and listen for understanding instead of proof, I could find that source. I was not out to prove myself wrong, but on the chance that I misunderstood something I was ready to listen.
I started with religion, not because it was a magical source but because I was already familiar with some of the teachings. The difference this time was I started to hear the messages differently. There was a belief hidden in these messages that said I was special. I didn’t feel special. One of my many mentors would ask; what title do you give yourself? I had a lot of them, all negative. I began to realize that I was my own worse influence. My interpretation of my world was causing most of my frustrations. As I began to expand my view of myself beyond my boundaries, I found more joy. This has potential.
I was ready to try out these new understandings. I found out that sometimes there is more than one way to do something; not everyone was out to get me, and a few health scares are not the end of me. This was kind of liberating. What if I expanded beyond myself and looked at others differently? Slowly I started replacing fear, hate, and judgments with understanding, forgiveness, and compassion.
Well, it didn’t take long for that idea to get stepped on. I had to regroup and put some of those boundaries back up. The loneliness of my self-imposed boundaries reminded me that there was something better. Slowly I started again to remove those boundaries but this time with some lessons learned. Gradually I broke out of my boundaries again and found that I was the problem. I could at least start loving myself. I started removing negative thoughts and replaced them with positive. I learned about what many called spirituality or mindfulness. I cautiously started down this path to joy.
I suspect there are some reading this thinking, what a bunch of bunk. I even have a few in my audience snickering but internally thinking, what-if. OK, but let’s look at the what-if. I started finding people in my world that added to my joy. As my trust and understanding grew, my joy expanded. I was not alone. I found a select few that I could share my fantasies, fears, accomplishments with, without reservations. There were others that were outside that sphere, but even with these, if I focused on understanding, compassion, and acceptance, my joy expanded. I was ready to share my revelation with the world only to discover that most people already knew this. Now I am not sure why it took a major event in my life for me to discover this.
What the world needs now is more love and less hate, more understanding and less fake news, and more compassion and less judgment. Start with yourself and expand your world.
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